A REDDITCH-born dad has spoken of his joy after his son won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics to complement the gold he won with his team mate last week.
Jack Laugher only just qualified for the final of the three metre springboard on Tuesday but made sure his outstanding efforts in Brazil had a silver lining with some superlative diving to finish second in the competition.
“I’m just a bit chuffed – it’s been a wonderful week or so but I’m pleased it’s all over for him,” said former Abbey High School pupil Dave Laugher.
Jack, aged 21, won gold last week with dive partner Chris Mears in the three metre synchronised diving event and former press photographer Dave said the silver was ‘the icing on the cake’.
“The Chinese diver (Yuan Cao) was so up for it and for Jack all the pressure was off having already won gold and he did brilliantly to get the silver. I’m so proud,” said Dave.
And he revealed the sheer cost of travelling out to Brazil and consideration for his son’s nerves meant that while his wife Jackie and daughter Katie went out to Rio to cheer Jack on, he stayed at home to look after family dog Alfie.
“I think I might have made him more nervous if I’d gone out there and besides I knew I would be a lot happier away from it too,” said Dave, who used to work for the Chris and Pat Bullivant, the owners of the Redditch Standard.
“I also know that when he comes home the one he’ll want to see the most will be Alfie!”
Dave and Jackie left Redditch and moved to Ripon when Jackie changed jobs, but they still have a lot if family in the borough, including Dave’s sister Chris.
He told how Jack started swimming at the age of three – ‘because it’s so important they learn’.
“He was just splashing around having fun with his mates when someone said he might have potential as a diver. From that chance remark 14 years ago he’s ended up with a gold and silver.”
Jack became a high board diver but at the age of 14, he badly broke his arm. Unable to withstand the water pressure from the high board he swapped to the spring board and hasn’t looked back since.
“After all the media work he’ll be back home for four days before going off on holiday with his girlfriend,” said Dave.
“However we’ll certainly be having a party when he’s back from his break.”